That saved a bob or two or ‘How to save a few $$’

I needed to measure the current draw of some equipment and the easiest way to do that is with a clamp on ammeter like this:


However you cannot just clamp it onto a normal power cable because the current flowing in one wire cancels out the current in the other wire and the meter reads zero. It’s really meant for measuring the current coming into the building junction box where there’s only one conductor.

So what you need is what’s known as an a/c wire splitter which looks like this:



The two power wires in a typical household cable split either side of the holes so you can clamp the meter onto the holes and voila, it works! There are two holes because on one of them, the wire wraps around it 10 times making the reading 10 times higher if you clamp onto that hole and thus, 10 times more sensitive.

I could not find one locally and it was going to cost upwards of $20 from Amazon and a few days wait.

So while I was in Walmart today, I found a pack of three eight inch long adapter leads. They are meant to be used as connectors for wall wart type power supplies when you have multiple ones going intro a power strip because wall warts tend to block some of the adjacent sockets in the strip. So instead of plugging the wall wart into the strip you plug it into this short lead and then plug the lead into the strip. All very cleaver.  Anyway I picked up a pack for around $5.

Once I got home I carefully split one of the wires away from the others like this:



Now all I need to do is plug one end into the wall, the equipment into the other end and hook the clamp of the ammeter around the split out wire. A bit like this:


And that’s I got my a/c line splitter today AND saved a few $ in the process!





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